city hall

Opinion: Discussion of public process seems hypocritical

“Don’t JACC up my taxes.”

Those bemoaning a lack of public process could avoid charges of hypocrisy by insisting on equal standards of transparency — and respect for public process — for all CBJ Assembly actions.

Case in point: At the Feb. 28 Assembly meeting, a $2 million appropriation for a used gondola for Eaglecrest was approved on a 5-4 vote. Some Assembly members expressed uneasiness with the “process” saying that summer operations at Eaglecrest have never gotten the green light from the Assembly or the public.

Just weeks before, on Jan. 10, on a 7-2 vote, the Assembly appropriated $2 million for plans for a $77 million combined performing arts and convention center. Neither the Assembly nor the Juneau electorate has given the green light to that (wildly more expensive) project either.

In 2019, a $4.5 million proposal to help fund a previous iteration of a performing arts center was rejected by Juneau voters 59%-41%. One would think that after voters said no to the 2019 proposal to subsidize a new cultural arts center (New JACC), the Juneau Assembly would be wise enough to resist a more grandiose and expensive new concept.

Is there a more accurate expression of public process than a public vote?

Juneau doesn’t need an albatross to support. We’re watching. Don’t JACC up my taxes.

Denny DeWitt